A nourishing fruit break

A nourishing fruit break #flashfiction

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction - Nourish

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story to nourish. The characters can nourish or be nourished. What else can be nourished? A tree? A setting? Does the sunset nourish the soul? Go where the prompt leads!

In many schools, children have a 10-minute mid-morning break to have a piece of fruit and engage in some movement activities. It’s often called a fruit or a brain break. Its purpose  is to refresh and reenergise for the next part of the session. It is generally welcomed by teachers and students alike. While the fruit may nourish the physical, as my story shows, often other forms of nourishment are also involved. A smile is sometimes all the nourishment a flagging spirit needs, especially on one of those days.

One of those days

The morning hadn’t let up. It began with a “Can I talk to you for a minute?” that stretched into an unresolved 45. Meanwhile, the children swarmed at the door, and the day’s activities hadn’t set themselves out. Her day flipped from organised to ‘fly by the seat’ with one unscheduled meeting. As the minutes ticked away, she hankered for fruit break and recalibration as much as the children. Her apple was a mere millimetre from her mouth when ‘Miss, Ellenie’s crying’ interrupted her. One look told her everything. Ellenie’s grateful smile turned her grey to sunshine. Sanity returned.

Thank you blog post

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

58 thoughts on “A nourishing fruit break #flashfiction

  1. Prior...

    I like the idea of a fruit break – but after learning more about how most of out countries consume way too much sugar –
    Even tho fruit has phytonutrients –
    And vitamins – the sugar can add up and on some folks the pancreas is stressed out way too much by the time they are eight or mince years old. So I think a bit of fruit –
    In season – can be okay – but
    maybe a veggie and meat snack would be better on some days –

    And your fiction was well
    Crafted as usual.
    When I read your 99 word story –
    I can always tell you thought of every word
    – sometimes authors leave
    in too many articles for my liking – but too each their own and it is part of their style – and so because you are so calculated -‘I know a word is there for a reason- for example – the “a” before the can I talk to you was cleverly used to
    Describe that kind of moment –
    And side note here – um yes – you nailed an experience that many of
    us know – the longer thuan expected meeting that then disrupted the flow of the day- it brought back a memory of a time when something similar happened – could feel it-
    And again- to give us so much in 99 words is not easy- 😉

    I did get a tiny bit lost for a moment
    ” Her apple was a mere millimetre from her mouth when ‘Miss, Ellenie’s crying’ interrupted her. One look told her everything. Ellenie’s grateful smile…”

    I had to read this three times to figure out what happened but still is miss Elaine was crying how did the smile
    Then unfold – hm?
    Could just be me – it’s late !! Ha
    Like I slight missed it – I get that a smile lit up

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you for your lovely in-depth response, Yvette – so thoughtful.
      I agree with you about the veggie snacks. A lot of children did bring carrot and celery sticks, snow peas and beans, and cherry tomatoes. Actually it was from one of the children’s snacks that I first learned of mini cucumbers. 🙂
      Thank you for your kind words about my ability to make every word count. I had to re-read my story to see if I had overused any articles. That ‘a’ before the meeting was intentional as it signified a particular type of unscheduled meeting.
      I’m sorry my ending was vague – there are never enough words for me. When the teacher saw that Ellenie had no fruit of her own, she gave hers to Ellenie. Although she was looking forward to it herself, Ellenie’s smile reignited her spark. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Prior...

        Ahhh – that makes sense with the fruit – and if this was a little movie snippet that would be cool- but even without knowing that part – it was clear that moods were lifted from an exchange
        Also / good writing is sometimes a little vague – gives the reader something to chew on or discover –
        And that is what it felt like – I almost enjoyed having to dig for the ending – rather than have spoon fed – ha!
        And Norah – I am still chocked that too much fruit can be so bad!
        It seems like for decades fruit (and veggies) were the top dog- but too much sugar is what hurts the body and so even carrots can be on the b list or just watch how many –
        And people healing with autoimmune – grapes are one of the biggest ones to stay away from –
        Anyhow – enjoyed catching up a little this last couple weeks

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
  2. Hugh W. Roberts

    I love the idea of a fruit break, Norah. As Geoff mentioned, it was a milk break when I was at school. I was one of the children who (with another) was given the job to go and fetch the milk and bring it into the classroom. We used a metal trolley which we pulled along the corridors. A straw was punctured into the foil top of each milk bottle and then given out to the class. Once we all finished, children placed their bottle back into the milkcrates and of we would go again in taking the empty bottle back to the storage room.
    I also helped run the tuck shop, which sold fruit, chocolate, crisps and sweets. Not so healthy (apart from the fruit) but in those days a treat really was a treat.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      How enjoyable and affirming it would have been to be the milk monitor and the tuckshop monitor. I assume it was because you were responsible and not that the teacher wanted to get you out of the class. 😉 If s/he did, you probably relished the break just as much s/he would have.
      Yes, things have changed. There are no more treats at tuckshops and before long children will not know what straws are – unless we go back to those paper ones of our youth. Thanks for sharing your experiences, Hugh.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  3. Sarah Brentyn

    I wrote a comment but it disappeared. Argh!

    Basically, I was saying my kids never got these breaks, even when they were younger, and breaks are crucial and should be used all the way through the university level. We never really outgrow the need for a break (or a nurturing conversation). 🙂 Thanks, Norah.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      I’m sorry it disappeared, Sarah. I hope it didn’t get caught up in the spam. There’s been too much these days for me to go through.
      Thank you for persisting to add your thoughts. Yes, breaks are essential – for all of us. Now we just need this pandemic to give us a break. Somehow I don’t think it will for a while. Take care. 💖

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      It sure would, Anne. It takes a pandemic for notice to be taken. I hope the recognition comes in more rewarding ways than applause and hangs around for long after this situation is resolved.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  4. Charli Mills

    Your story is packed with emotion for what teachers go through to keep their classes going and their students’ minds fed. We all need a nourishing break, and care for one another. Good to see your writing at the Ranch, Norah!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  5. Jules

    I remember long ago when you were still allowed to place a reassuring hand on a troubled child’s back… now with so many law-suit happy – a smile for understanding is about all one can do.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  6. roughwighting

    Thank you for this fruit break. For me and all of your readers! I love the concept. An apple and a smile can add so much energy to a person – young or not so young – who needs just that kind of break

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks, Geoff. Yes, it was the milk back in my day too – but not with a special break – at morning tea time. By then it had sat in the hot sun for a couple of hours and wasn’t very pleasant.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

        We didn’t have your sunshine but the milk was generally stored by the radiator in the classroom, so probably equally warm in our cooler country. I agree with Geoff, a fruit break is a great innovation. But what was morning tea-time if it wasn’t a break?

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
        1. Norah Post author

          Morning tea time was a break but we didn’t have a special break for milk. The fruit breaks, sometimes called brain breaks, occur mid-session, an hour into a 2-hour session. Children remain in the classroom. It is still part of learning time. They don’t get to play. Some teachers don’t let them chat but I always did and I’d always finish off the break with a story. Of course. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          Reply
  7. petespringerauthor

    I taught so many kids who came to school without a snack. Somewhere along the line, I decided to pick up snacks for those who didn’t come with one.

    Starting organized and then flying by the seat of your pants—you are a teacher.🤣

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      I think many teachers do the same thing, Pete. I found that many children came with extra fruit for others too. There are so many thoughtful parents who encourage kindness in their children. It’s like a warm hug every day.
      Yes. I think we’ve all experienced days like this. Fortunately, years of experience means not all is lost. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  8. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    The old days. When the kids were within reach and easy to feed. (sigh)
    And I liked your flash. You sure capture the stress and pace of those days, and the sunshine that invariably pokes through the clouds of those days. Thanks, Miss.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you for your kind words. I’m pleased the sun shone through. Our children have started to return to school now. I hope it goes well for them all.

      Like

      Reply
      1. D. Avery @shiftnshake

        Many (maybe most, maybe all) of our schools will not reopen this school year. The “remote” teaching and learning continues to the end. It remains to be determined what the beginning of the next school year will look like. There may need to be modifications to maintain distancing.

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
  9. robbiesinspiration

    Breaks to recharge your body and mind are important, Norah. I am finding now, with the lockdowns, that meeting organisers have forgotten about breaks. Meetings are set up back to back all day long and no breaks, even for lunch, are provided for. It is very exhausting. I hope you are well, Norah. I enjoyed your flash fiction. It had a lovely positive ending.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      I think online meetings are more exhausting than in-person meetings, Robbie, so to have them without breaks would be very difficult. I hope it settles down for you soon.
      I’m pleased you enjoyed the positivity of my flash. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

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